Christmas carols have been passed down for generations now without a second thought, and some of them should honestly give people pause. Whether they’re promoting adultery, send a different message they once did, or just never made sense at all, there are some really questionable Christmas songs out there – some of which are the most popular.
For many of us, the first songs we ever learned were about the joys of Christmas. (You know, after the ABCs and the theme to whatever kid’s show was hypnotizing the youth.) The problem with that is that no kid thinks about the words they’re singing until much later.
But don’t worry. We’re here to help you take a closer look at these songs and point out the questionable moments that you may have been missing for years. Feel free to let us know if you can think of any more.
“Santa Claus Is Coming To Town”
At some point, Santa Claus became “The All-Knowing Kris Kringle” with infinite knowledge on everyone in the world. Kids everywhere have spent years in a state of paranoia out of fear that everything they did was being tallied up and weighed somewhere.
Also, it’s super creepy that Santa knows when you’re asleep or not. How? Are there cameras hidden in the toys? Does he have our parents on payroll? What’s his secret?
“Baby, It’s Cold Outside”
You thought “Blurred Lines” was bad? In “Baby’s It’s Cold Outside,” which has probably had the most famous backlash, the woman in the song says no to staying over multiple times. But the man singing (which could be Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong or even Buddy the Elf) is in that weird space between being persistent and full-on unsettling. There’s also the “what’s in this drink?” line that’s sure to raise a few eyebrows in the modern day.
Thankfully, SNL‘s modern take dialed down the creepiness a little bit and made the song about a one-night-stand. Just like the authors had intended.
So, here’s the deal. Eartha Kitt has every right to live her life how she wants to. And if her suitors are okay with buying her a light blue ’54 convertible, a duplex and a deed to a platinum mine, then that’s no one’s business. But, Mrs. Claus is sure to have a question or two about her husband trying to be a sugar daddy and get into Catwoman’s milk and cookies.
“12 Days of Christmas”
Starting with a partridge in a pear tree and finishing off with seven swimming swans, the narrator in “12 Days of Christmas” eventually ended up with 23 birds. (Trust me. I had to sing this at every midnight mass as a kid. I counted.) What does someone even do with all of those? Probably cook them to feed the 50 drummers, pipers, dancing ladies, leaping lords and milk maids the same person brought later that week.
But if we’re being honest, no one ever takes the time to add all this up because they’re too busy getting ready to shout “FIVE GOLDEN RINGS!!!”
Note: If you’re not in the 18 million people that have already, enjoy this a capella rendition by Straight No Chasers. Merry Christmas.
“I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”
What kid endorses their parent’s affair with laughter and hopes they get caught? That logic is so flawed that you can’t even blame it on youthful curiosity. That’s just twisted. Luckily, most people assume that Michael really just saw his mom kissing Papa Joe dressed up as Santa kissing his own wife so there’s no real harm. But you don’t really know. And that’s the kicker.
“Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer”
Grandma’s family started off by doing the right thing. When she wanted to leave, they asked her to stay behind because it wasn’t safe and she’d been drinking eggnog. But instead of someone being responsible and taking her home themselves, they just said “eh, she’ll be fine!” Well, she wasn’t fine. She barely made it more than a few steps past the front porch before getting run over by Santa Claus.
Also, can we stop saying she got run over by a single reindeer? The chances of only one of eight hitting her is slim to none.
“We Wish You A Merry Christmas”
Luckily, I still haven’t had my Christmas interrupted by a group of singing strangers at the door. [Knocks on wood.] But if they did, I’d expect them to sing a song or two, exchange a smile and kind words and keep it moving. But the group in “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” wanted more than that. They not only demanded “figgy pudding” – whatever that is – as payment for their unrequested services, but they also refused to leave until they got some. They were a pushy little bunch, weren’t they?
“It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”
For some, the Christmas season really is the most wonderful time of the year. There are parties to host, marshmallows to toast and scary ghost stories to te– wait, what? In the third verse of the Christmas classic, Andy Williams declares that scary stories should be a Christmas tradition for those of us that didn’t get enough of it on Halloween. Something tells me this was Tim Burton’s favorite Christmas song growing up.